Always vet your options before hiring someone to work on your home or commercial building. Failing to do so might see you end up with an inexperienced, unprofessional worker – and worse yet – extra expenses to fix or redo the job.
Below are 10 questions to ask before hiring a painter. These questions will help you narrow down your options, allowing you to make the best decision on who to hire, based on the best answers you receive, allowing you to pay for superb services for your painting project.
1. How Long Have You Worked in the Industry?
Experience is key to sharpening your craft at any job, and with painting, it’s of most importance because you’re going to be living with the final result in your home every day. So, be sure to ask each painting contractor how long they have been working in the industry. You will likely be hiring a team of painters, so inquire about their operational standards.
An established business will have testimonials, reviews, and ratings posted online. You will have an easier time learning about a long-run company by doing a quick search online.
2. Are You Insured, Licenced, and Bonded?
Make sure the painting contractor you want to hire has the proper paperwork. In Canada and the United States, they typically have two types of insurance, which include comprehensive business liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance.
Comprehensive business liability insurance protects your property from damages the contractor might accidentally cause. Worker’s compensation insurance, on the other hand, protects you and the workers while they work on your home. So, if someone is injured on the job, you will not be held liable, as the insurance will cover their medical bills and any other costs.
Be sure to seek painting companies that have both forms of insurance. Also, it may seem like a given, but make sure the company or contractors you are hiring are licenced as well. Their licence indicates that they have met specific qualifications to be a contractor and are authorized to work in your area.
Finally, make sure the painting company is bonded. Bonding protects you if something goes wrong during the project.
3. Do You Hire Subcontractors?
Hiring a company is great, but does this company come with their own team of employed painters, or do they subcontract that out? That’s an important question, as employees usually mean there’s quality control with their work, while subcontracting could lead towards the unknown. You really don’t know who will be working on your home until they show up.
Subcontractors are usually paid a flat fee. It’s cheaper for painting companies to hire contractors than employees, but that risks the quality of getting the job down. They could lack the necessary experience to complete your project, as some companies fail to run their own background checks. You don’t want to cut corners yourself, so don’t always anyone else to cut corners for you.
Nevertheless, make sure the painting company performs strict oversight for the project if they do hire subcontractors, should you endeavour down that route.
4. What Kind of Training Do Your Employees Receive?
If the company you have chosen to task with your painting job is using hired employees, there is no guarantee that they are properly trained. Don’t be shy of taking the time to ask the painting contractors about their employees. This is a serious job, you need seriously good painters to achieve the best possible results on your project.
Ask about the team’s training. Does the company conduct training in-house? How often do they complete these training sessions? Also, ask if they use trade associations to stay up-to-date with new materials and techniques.
A trained team is less likely to make mistakes while working on your property. Their training can assure a high-quality outcome. They will likely get the project done in a timely manner, which makes everyone happy.
5. What Kind of Materials Do You Use?
As you work through these questions to ask a painter, don’t forget to consider their materials. The type of paint they use can impact your project’s outcome. Many different types of paint produce different looks. You might want a specialized coating for a specific application. If you live in a modern home with a minimalistic lifestyle, the paint job should reflect your living style, interior design, and décor. The painters you hire need your direction in this regard.
Quality control and intentional design are equally important. Using the best materials is vital to realize both artistic philosphies. Make sure you are getting what you are paying for.
6. Do You Have a Safety Program?
Painting companies should be providing safety training for their employees. Even while the contractor has insurance, proper training can minimize potential accidents, which would otherwise delay or halt the completion of your project. Thus, it’s imperative that safety protocols are adhered to by every contractor on the job site.
Be sure to ask about the team’s safety protocol. Do they conduct regular safety training sessions? Ask if they have a written safety policy manual. If they have one, which they should, then they should be more than willing to show it to you and give you a rundown of the safety protocols.
7. Can You Send References?
Nearly every customer reads reviews online now before making a purchase. Task yourself with this accessible way of determining the quality of potential painting contractors you want to hire. This is the best and quickest way to learn more about local businesses in your area through Google My Business listings, LinkedIn, Yelp, and other reputable directories.
Once you have narrowed down your choices, ask each painting contractor for at least three references. Make sure these references hired the painting company recently. Otherwise, they might provide you with out-of-date information. Ask each person you speak with about their experience.
Were they satisfied with the outcome of their project? Would they suggest you hire a different painting contractor instead? Was the painting company on time? Were they good at communicating?
Try to ask specific questions about each project. If the reference seems hesitant, scratch them off your list. There’s always the chance that the painter had you speak with a relative or friend, instead of a client.
8. How Long Is Your Warranty?
Ask each painting contractor about their guarantee or warranty, and what it specifically covers. You will want assurance that they are offering the best services possible. Be wary of lifetime warranties, as these companies tend to operate as short-term popup businesses that decidedly go out of business, effectively ending any lifetime responsibility that they promised you. Instead, look for businesses with realistic one to two-year warranties.
9. Are You a Member of a Trade Association?
Members of the local chamber of commerce and any trade association signals that they are committed to their trade. Look for businesses and contractors that are members of these kinds of institutions, as they are likely committed to delivering the highest quality services. Furthermore, companies that are members of community organizations likely care about the community. These companies are often more stable.
10. Can You Give Me a Timeframe and Quote?
As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to ask for a three-option plan, and what the quotes are for each package. Ask what’s included in the quote. The time of year, materials, and size of the project can all impact the cost. Also, inquire about the timeframe, with regards to how long the project will take, and when the team can get started. Keep these factors in mind before hiring a contractor.
Asking these questions will help you narrow down your options to hire and receive a high-quality painting service delivered by tradesmen who are truly committed to their craft as painting contractors.